Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on July 3, 1982 · Page 106
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 106

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 3, 1982
Page 106
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REPUBLIC crrr ONAi 93rd Year, No. 48 Phoenix, Arizona Saturday, July 3, 1982 o Copyright 1982, The Arizona Republic 1 1 W mi mi i m ""'. 11 " 11 eAriz TFPTTRT in 25 LA-1L JD) JkJJLs cents j Lawn-chair ride hits 16,000 feet Republic Wire Services LONG BEACH, Calif. A truck driver with 42 weather balloons rigged to a lawn chair took a 45-minute ride Friday up to 16,000 feet before he got cold, shot some balloons with a BB gun and crashed into a power line, officials said. "I know it sounds strange, but it's true," Long Beach Police Lt. Rod Mickelson said after he stopped laughing. "The guy just filled up the balloons with helium, strapped on a parachute, grabbed a BB gun and took off." Larry Walters, 33, of North Hollywood was not injured. The Federal Aviation Administration was not amused. Regional safety inspector Neal Savoy said the flying lawn chair was spotted by TWA and Delta jetliner pilots at 16,000 feet. "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed," Savoy said. Police said Walters went to his girlfriend's house in San Pedro on Thursday night, inflated 42 6-foot-tall weather balloons with helium and attached them to an aluminum lawn chair tethered to the ground. Friday morning, with half a dozen friends holding the tethers, Walters donned a parachute, strapped himself into the chair and had his friends let him up slowly. "But as soon as the ropes were out of their hands, the last tether (securing the chair to the ground) broke, and I shot up," Walters said. Minutes later, he was calling for help over a CB radio he had with him. "This guy broke into our channel with a mayday," said Doug Dixon of an Orange County citizen's band radio club. "He said he had shot up like an elevator to 16,000 feet and was getting numb before he started shooting out some of the balloons. He sounded worried, but he wasn't panicked." However, after puncturing several of the balloons, Walters' pistol fell overboard and the chair drifted downward. The ropes became entangled in a power line, briefly blacking out a part of Long Beach. The chair dangled five feet above the ground, and Walters was able to get down. "Miraculously, he wasn't hurt," said Lt. Jim Reed of the Long Beach police. "It wasn't a highly scientific expedition. "What do you do when you're at 16,000 feet sitting in a lawn chair? You'd better damn well hope it doesn't turn upside down." Walters said, "Since I was 13 years old, I've dreamed of going up into the clear, blue sky in a weather balloon. By the grace of God, I fulfilled my dream. But I wouldn't do this again for anything." S AP Truck driver Larry Walters, 33, is hoisted aloft in his lawn chair by helium-filled weather balloons. ratal, Lebanon agree on method of disarming FLO Move is contrary to Israeli demands Republic Wire Services Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat and Lebanese Prime Minister Shafik Wazzan reached an agreement Friday on disarming the estimated 6,000 guerrillas trapped by the Israelis in West Beirut and moving them to an undisclosed Arab state, the Lebanese state radio reported. There was no immediate comment from Israel, but the agreement appeared to violate conditions it has laid down. Earlier Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon toured the front and warned that Israel refuses to compromise on its demands for the removal of all Palestinian guerrillas from West Beirut. Sharon said Israel reluctantly is ready to risk the lives of civilians if need be to push the PLO out of its besieged enclave. "We face the choice of either eradicating this terrorist group and risk some civilian lives or do nothing and leave (the PLO) there," Sharon said. In Tel Aviv, Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan forcefully echoed Sharon, saying Israel would "destroy" the PLO unless it left Lebanon on Israel's terms. Eitan said Israel has the military means available to drive the PLO out of West Beirut without launching a full-scale invasion. He did not elaborate. Maj. Gen. Amir Drori, head of Israel's northern command, said his troops were "poised for a military action in West Beirut," awaiting only the go-ahead from his government. Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir also rejected an attempt by France to mediate in the war, telling an envoy dispatched from Paris on Thursday that a French peace initiative was unwanted, the Israeli army radio said. A week-old cease-fire held fast in Beirut, but Israeli jets kept up the psychological pressure, dropping flares on the Moslem western half of - PLO, A2 Suspect tried suicide during fatal shoot-out By Susan Leonard and Tim O'Connor Republic Staff The suspected bank robber who authorities say shot and killed a Phoenix police officer Thursday and wounded another tried to commit suicide during the shooting, officials determined Friday after extracting a bullet from his head. Phoenix Police Department spokesman Mike Jahn said the bullet, extracted during surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital, was the same kind of bullet that the suspect was using. Police initially thought the suspect, who was identified on Friday as an illegal alien from Mexico named Efren Contreras Lopez, 28, was shot in the head and thigh by officer John Davis, who returned fire after he and officer Ignacio Conchos were wounded during a shoot-out at a south Phoenix bar. However, authorities discovered after Lopez's surgery that the bullet in his head was a .32-caliber jacketed bullet similar to those Lopez was using, and the one in his thigh was a .38-caliber which Davis used in his service revolver. Related story, B1 Davis, 48, a robbery detective, remained in fair condition at Good Samaritan Medical Center on Friday with wounds in his abdomen and right thigh; Lopez remained in critical condition. Meanwhile, arrangements were made for Conchos' funeral Monday morning. To honor their dead comrade, police-station flags were flown at half-staff Friday and officers wore black bands over their badges. Conchos, 39, was shot once in the chest. Police said Lopez, who indicated during the bank robbery on Thursday that he wasn't afraid to die, has been refusing pain pills and other medication when he is conscious. Jahn said the bank robbery took place at the Arizona Bank branch at 6028 S. Central Ave. 20 minutes before the shooting, which happened when Lopez opened fire on Conchos and Davis after they had gone into a Suspect, A16 Soviets test prototype space shuttle with possible military uses Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON U.S. analysts are studying the first test of a Soviet prototype space shuttle that some Pentagon officials believe could become the world's first fighter spacecraft. The Soviet test last month, which caught U.S. intelligence off guard, was a suborbital shot of a delta-winged vehicle that weighed about a ton. It was launched from near the Caspian Sea and made a water landing in the Pacific below the equator. Information on the flight is unusually sparse because U.S. intelligence agencies expected the flight one day later, administration officials said. As a result, little of the telemetry data radioed back on the craft's performance was intercepted by U.S. listening devices. Only a few pictures were obtained as the craft parachuted to the recovery site, where it was picked up by a seven-ship Soviet fleet, the officials said. U.S. analysts believe the test vehicle was a small, unmanned model of a Soviet shuttle vehicle that weighs roughly 20 tons in its full-sized version. Such a winged vehicle once was photographed by a U.S. spy satellite on a long runway at a Soviet launching facility at Tyuratam, Kazakhstan. The Soviets have conducted "drop tests" from highflying aircraft of various "lifting body" shapes that are appropriate for spacecraft that glide back to earth, officials said. The full-scale Soviet shuttle is expected to have its first manned space flight in two years. It is less than one-third the size of the 86-ton U.S. shuttle, the Columbia, which was completing its fourth space mission this weekend. "The Soviets are about a decade behind in shuttle development," said Dr. Hans Mark, deputy head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and former secretary of the Air Force. The small size of the Soviet shuttle would make it an inefficient cargo transport, which is the U.S. shuttle's main mission, officials said, leading to speculation about what its ultimate role may be. One purpose may be to carry passengers perhaps five or six per trip to orbiting space stations. But some officials say the Soviet shuttle, with men aboard, also could be used for purely military missions, such as reconnaissance in space, as a command post or as a weapons carrier. Thus, these officials believe, the Soviet shuttle could be used to inspect U.S. or other nations' satellites in orbit and, if equipped with weapons, destroy them on command. "We think this would be more of a political demonstration during this decade rather than an effective weapons system, much as any space-based laser weapon would be," one official said. "But it could grow into an effective system in time." U.S. suspicions have been aroused, in part, by the fact Prototype, A16 Judge to deny request for East High reopening By Art Gissendaner Republic Staff U.S. Circuit Court Judge Charles H. Hardy said Friday he plans to deny a request for a preliminary injunction that would have reopened East High School for the 1982-83 school year. The decision will not become final until Hardy has provided attorneys in the case with the findings on which his decision will be based and they have had an opportunity to respond. Hardy will consider their responses and then issue a final order. Governing-board members in the Phoenix Union High School District voted in January to close East, and their decision was appealed in a lawsuit filed by parents of East High students. Hardy made his statement about denying the request immediately after Ron Spears and William P. Mahoney, attorneys for East High parents, and school-district attorney William Brammer presented their final arguments. Hardy said granting the injunction would create a "chaotic situation" in the district because students, teachers and maintenance personnel have been reassigned to other campuses. "It seems to me that the board's decision to close East was rational," Hardy said. "The strain imposed on the district just to crank up East again would be horrible." Hardy, who will spend the next several days reviewing similar cases referred to by Mahoney and Spears, said his findings will be in the mail to the attorneys by Wednesday. "I will cheerfully admit that I am wrong if I am wrong," he said. "I am indicating my gut reaction. I must be candid that my feeling now is not to grant the temporary injunction." Hardy's statement was met with a East,A19 Today MARRIAGE RiTE The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix has refused to marry a Mesa couple because the man is a quadriplegic. G1 CHUCKLE Car salesman to customer: "It is designed for economy except for the price." PRAYER Lord, thank you for warming our frigid Earth and for giving us hope for regrowth. Amen. WEATHER Mostly sunny and continued warm. High near 104, low near 80. Friday's high 104, low 76. Humidity: high 29, low 9. C8. Astrology Dl Movies F2 Autos D3 Obituaries D2 Bridge F4 Radio F7 Close-ups G5 Religion Gl Comics G7 Scrabble Dl Crossword Dl Sports El DearAbby Dl Stamps F4 Economy Cl TV log F7 Editorials A6 Want ads Dl Jumble Dl Weather C8 Leisure Fl Wynn Bl 4 Uof A chief denies implication he'll ignore spending-cut plan By Gene Varn Southern Arizona Bureau TUCSON University of Arizona President Henry Koffler said Friday that remarks he made Thursday were not intended to mean that the UofA will not cooperate with an order to reduce spending by 10 percent. In clarifying the comments he made at a news conference Thursday at which he said the UofA would "not cut back 10 percent," Koffler said Friday that he means the university had not made across-the-board budget cuts. Instead, the university is attempting to "save" 10 percent of the $140 million in state funds in its annual budget by cutting spending in selected areas, Koffler said. Koffler's choice of words Thursday created a furor in UofA administrative offices Friday when members of Gov. Bruce Babbitt's staff and members of the Board of Regents called to question Koffler's comments as reported in The Arizona Republic. Babbitt and Koffler also talked by telephone about Koffler's comments. Koffler assumed office Thursday. "When I think of budget cuts, I think of whole programs being diminished or eliminated, and that is not the case," Koffler said. He said Thursday the UofA is not cutting spending by the 10 percent Babbitt ordered in May for all state agencies. "I was quoted correctly, but I meant it in a different way," Koffler said Friday. Rather than eliminate programs and personnel, which to him mean "budget cuts," the UofA is undertaking a program of "budget savings," Koffler said. The savings include a hiring freeze except for what are deemed critical positions, the elimination of overtime pay, major reductions in travel by UofA officials and elimination of the purchase of most new equipment, he said. In an interview before Koffler talked to Babbitt on Friday, the governor referred to a resolution adopted by the Board of Regents advocating a 10 percent cut in budgets. "I assume that issue will be worked out by Dr. Koffler and the regents," Babbitt said. "His UofA, AW

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